More than 1.2 million people call the Rio Grande Valley home. Many were born and raised in the Valley and continued their education at local colleges and universities. Many have also gone away, firm on making a life for themself elsewhere.
But sometimes, a person will wind up back where they started because the Valley will always be home. They return with a new perspective and desire to give back and take care of the community in which they were raised.
Jennifer Cano Garza left the area many years ago to pursue her bachelor’s degree. She never thought she would return. Her plans were set. She was going to become a physician, but after taking a summer program, she decided that wasn’t the path for her.
Still, she felt a connection to healthcare. Then someone recommended healthcare administration. That was it.
“I ended up at Trinity University and got my master’s, and then like they say, ‘the rest is history,’” said Garza, Cano Consulting Firm CEO.
She began climbing the ladder in her career and went on to serve as Chief Operating Officer for Saint Joseph Medical Center in Houston. Her success in healthcare administration spanned over the course of more than 20 years; she served as a C-level executive for other organizations, including Universal Health Services. In several of those roles, she was the youngest female CEO.
“It was definitely an experience working in corporate America and being a Hispanic woman in a male-dominated industry,” she said. “There is extra pressure being a woman to produce, but it has made me a better business person. It molded me to be the person I am today.”
Eventually, Garza brought the valuable experience back to the RGV and, for several years, continued working in healthcare administration. She took the helm as CEO of South Texas Health System Edinburg and South Texas Health System Children’s and continued making strides in the industry. And she did it because she was not only passionate about healthcare and her patients, but because this was her community.
“There’s a connection here and also a sense of purpose to give back to our community,” Garza said.
Recently, Garza pivoted from her role in healthcare administration. She launched Cano Consulting Firm to share her wealth of business education she picked up through the course of her career leading large healthcare organizations. Her firm gives back to the business community by providing business leaders with the tools to lead successful organizations.
The RGV is an economic powerhouse and rich in business and entrepreneurship, and as businesses, big and small, grow and evolve with business trends and markets, there is always room for improvement.
Garza offers services such as strategic planning, financial planning, healthcare business services, workforce composition, employee retention planning strategies, keynote speaking and training, and more.
Garza helps leaders focus and prioritize in order to grow and improve. Her job is to take the challenges her clients face and come up with a plan to create a successful path.
“How do we make an impact?” she said. “That’s really my purpose. I feel like this is the right place for me in terms of my career and what I’m trying to do.”
When she made her way back home, she returned with a commitment to serve her community. Now, through her firm, her reach is broader, and she is now helping the business community grow even stronger.
“It’s very rewarding for me because I feel like I can help a lot more people versus just being in one organization,” she said. “People are looking for a purpose, and I find it here. Even though the Valley is challenging, it has a lot of opportunity, and that is what I want to bring.”
For more information on Cano Consulting and the services offered, visit canoconsultingfirm.com.